2009_0219chnhvplus0076This morning it was minus 17 outside when I woke up.

The sky is still blue and the sun is still there and we saw them both yesterday – it was really beautiful.

I found a jumbo box of fair dinkum cornflakes – oh I am so happy.

When it’s really cold the inside of your nostrils freeze.

Pris Gollan is a good cook – and all of her kids are growing up really fast.

I’m not sure if I’m more annoyed at having shoes stolen out of my van, or having the window with my silver fern and southern cross smashed.


2009_0219chnhvplus0081When I was in Australia last year, young blokes were all into drifting. Today I left them all for dead, but not something I wish to repeat in a hurry. We had heavy snow yesterday and another top up again last night. I drove home last night – carefully but with no real problems. So I decided to head down the hill this morning. Slowly and carefully does it. But the hill had a different idea. I started to skid. I tried to brake off and on, I tried to drive into deep snow. I managed to drive to one side, saw some large trees approaching, lost all control, missed the trees, got the front up on a bit of a slope and managed to slide the entire back of the van around and ended up parked totally perpendicular to the road. To say I was shaking would be an understatement.

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The silence of snow is truly amazing. I stopped working on the computer and looked out the window to see big, slow, heavy, swirling, individual flakes of snow, silently falling down down down. My office is on the third floor in the school here in Rzhyshchiv. I tried to take some photos – but you can’t see the action. Snow is so different from rain. It is so silent it is deafening. I don’t want to prepare lessons today. I want to stand at the window and wonder. It is a sight to behold. The wind catches the flakes, some appear to be going up, then they will spiral into a mini slow motion tornado, then again as always they fall down down down. And silently they make their bed upon the ground. Oh it’s a beauty that has to be seen. All of you antipodeans, come over here and visit. I know I encourage you to come in the summer, but some of you, come in the winter. You can help me teach English – but you can see the snow fall. You can wonder at the wonder of wonders.

I keep turning round to see out the window. It just got thicker and faster. Some of those flakes must be the size of a 20 cent piece. Words are not enough. I wish you could all see what I can see.

Monthly Newsletter February 2009


For the last 100 years or so, the All Blacks have been the bench mark in world rugby. The team to beat. Everyone raises their game against us. The fact that we have only won one world cup is a painful thing for NZ rugby supporters. The expectation is that we are the best, must be the best and will always be the best and should never ever lose.

I’ve had a bit of a chuckle to myself this summer as I have watched firstly South Africa pull Australia apart in the cricket, and Australia’s woes continue as NZ has won the first two one dayers. It’s hard being the best. Everyone is out to get you.

What about my life? Do I want to be the best? Naturally I do. But if I am my best – that is not very good. And even if it is quite good for a while, I will eventually fall, the higher up I get, the harder will be the landing.


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Monthly Newsletter January 2009


People carry around all sorts of baggage. Our past experiences combine to bring about various reactions in certain situations.

My past experiences of airline travel are leaving me less and less trusting of their ability to deliver luggage. I have recently been to NZ and Australia. I was in NZ for our 4 yearly family reunion. When I arrived in Auckland my bag did not arrive. I still haven’t got it back. So I bought a new case and filled it with books for the English school and headed back here – and believe it or not I arrived back in Kyiv yesterday – again with no luggage.

I was wandering around the airport looking to see if I could buy a jumper or something – as I had checked in my jacket and only had a t shirt on. I bumped into some people I knew who gave me a ride into town. I got off near a second hand shop and walked over to find it was shut. I said I need a jacket so they took me inside and about 12 ladies were standing around – laughing at the poor foreigner who had no jacket and gave me a jumper and jacket and said they were for free!!

All the same – I hope my luggage turns up.

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FEELING SICK (written on an airsickness bag)

On a plane

Oh the pain

40 hours

40 years

Going round and round

The carrousel

With no luggage

Travelling light

Less to carry

But you rush

What’s your hurry?

Got to get there

Then the next place

But the smile has left your face


Not this station

Got frustration?

Need elation?

Oh the pain

On this plane


2008_1018everybodydance0056The fortune belongs to a young man named Sasha from Odessa. On Friday he won 250 000 hrivna on the final of Everybody Dance. I was talking to him before the show and he said if he wins he wants to open a dance school in Odessa. Earlier I was supporting my friend Lida. It was fun being on Ukrainian television and I even made their evening news. You can find the clip in their archives or watch it right herejono at stb

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